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man's life, so the false utterance of the nent gripe of our long tenacious finger, true, or the true utterance of the false, which does not relax when the flesh is, in one form or other, the whole of fingers fall loose in weariness or sleep. what is ruinous, chaotic, execrable. and it thus displays and exemplifies
Further, it is manifest that at the the uniting power inherent in inen's highest point to which man can reach, spirits. But as these physical tools there will always be something beyond can work only with the palpable and him, higher, larger, holier, which he visible, and the spirit has another world cannot yet utter, and can only yearn of its own, neither to be touched nor towards and apprehend. This is ne seen by means of the bodily senses, cessarily the greatest of all greatnesses, there must, in this inner and better which he not as yet knows, but region, be kindred operations in which knows of, forebodes, dreamingly the powers that the material images clutches. To hurry headlong towards manifest and apply, work for them. the expression of this which lies as selves and without tools. Thus to yet altogether inexpressible, profanes separate by mental scission is to disand mars the divine work, with regard tinguish; to tie or lash together, is, in to it now the only divine work possi- tha region of mere thought, to combine ble, of learning, feeling, embracing, notions or conceptions by an act of not apprehending, but comprehending fancy ; and to lift is, in the language it. Unseasonable idle speech, and such of oracles, to raise an object out of upon this matter all must be, scares dark and flat confusion into clear and and irritates the plastic gods, the high individual existence; thai is, to realize working powers in all; for whom the it for the mind. Now, in proportion universe and our lives are a pliant as men use many and complete tools, material, and with whom our will is, at they are advanced in mechanical civil. its best. a patient and devout fellow- ization. But their higher spiritual cul. worker and learner. Hence the mean ture has been forwarded only in the ing and sanctity of silence. But that degree in which they have learnt the
mute mysterious development, true laws and aims of these inward which may be going on for years, and powers, which are at once the maindecads of years, in any one soul, and springs and the archetypes of all our for ages on ages in the soul of man, instruments. comes out at last to inevitable utter
38. ance ; and the word of some one heart If man be a reality, no empty vision expresses for a thousand years after in the dreaming soul of nature, but, as him the feeling of countless millions.— who shall doubt he is, inwardly substanThus do we find that the utterance of tial and personal, that which he most truth out of the infinite into the heart earnestly desires, which best satisfies of man makes his real in ward story; his whole being, must be real too. and the utterance of the same out of his
39. heart into the world is all his outward Only by an act of arbitrary self-will work and duty.
dare we fancy that we belong to a 37.
system founded on the arbitrary selfAll the instruments that men employ will of any being, however superior to are so many symbols, and, as it were, us in power. materializations of corresponding fa
40. culties; as the works which, by means The fundamental affirmation of all of these instruments, we perform, are reasonable, and therefore of all right expressions of our analogous tenden- religion, the highest of truths revealed cies, affections, and wants. The knife to man, iş this, that the infinite, eternot only divides all separable sub- nal, and absolute Being, wills all good, stances, but exhibits, and, as it were, and only good, and that by good is prolongs into the outermost region of meant not merely whatever we may things about us that dividing faculty dare to fancy that he might choose to of which the rending hands are in- will, but that which suits the wants, termediate agents. So the lever, and completes, in the fullest form, the that is, lifter, embodies and applies existence of all other beings. Every our inward capacity of elevating, and doctrine opposed to this is superstitious consummates the work of our arms fanaticism or blasphemous scoffing. and shoulders. The rope which knots
41. two things together is but the perma That men would be better than they
are if they always chose good instead little that a man could learn, fancy, and of evil is evident. But that they would feign of the life of a man. How far is be better, or indeed could have a ra- this excelled by the all that the life of tional existence, if they had not the a man—of every man—is ! power of choosing evil instead of good,
48. is the most foolish and presumptuous of It is no uncommon mistake to supfancies.
pose that exaggeration is essential or 42.
at least proper to fiction. The truth is You may indeed add sugar to vine- rather the reverse. A principal use gar, but cannot make it wine again. and justification of fiction is to reduce 43.
and harmonize the seeming exaggeraA man without earnestness is a tions of real life. mournful and perplexing spectacle.
49. But it is a consolation to believe, as Facts are often extravagant and we must of any such a one, that he is monstrous, because we do not know in the most effectual and compulsive the whole system which explains and of all schools; not only with the sad legitimises them. But none have any sublimity of the stars above him, and business in fiction which are not intel. the haggard yet ever teeming earth ligible parts of the artificial whole that beneath his feet, graves, houses, and they appear in. temples around him, and the voices of
50. hatred and pain, love and devotion, Religion, conscience, affection, law, sounding in his ears, but also with a science, poetry, including the kindred heart, however weak and dull, essen- arts, are for ever rectifying the disortially capable of feeling and under- ders and miseries of mankind. But standing the meaning of all these the mode in which the poetic art does things. He is at worst a boy, slow this is by presenting to mankind, a at learning to read, and thinking more world of its own, in which good and of toys and cakes than of books, but evil, true and false, fair and ugly, harassuredly neither an idiot, nor incura- monious and discordant, and all such bly deaf, blind, and dumb. He is analogous pairs of contrasts, horrid and disastrous to look upon as mingled by just and intelligible princiwe pass him by, but most when we see ples of combination, and point to their him coloured by the crimson glare of own solution—not indeed a solution alour own passionate vehemence. Every ways for the understanding, but always step forward which we really make, one adequate for the feelings, and purigives us a new mysterious power to fying and exalting them. draw him too on.
Faith in a better than that which apVoltaire thought he was looking pears, is no less required by art than through a handsome French window by religion. at God and the universe, and painting
52. pictures of them, while in truth the The three great perversions of eduglass was a mirror, and he saw and cation are those which tend to make copied only his own scoffing face. children respectively-Dwarfs Mon45.
keys-Puppets. The Dwarfs are the The religion of all Pagans, indis- prodigies, the over-sharpened, overcriminately, has often been written of excited, over-accomplished, stunted by zealous Christians in the worst spirit men. In these, as there is no fulness of Paine and Voltaire.
and steadiness, such as belong only to 46.
mature life, and yet there is the ap Whether is it nobler to dwell in pearance of these, the very principle Paradise and dream of a cabbage-gar- of the thing is a quackery and falseden, or to live among pot-herbs and hood. The Monkeys are the spoiled ; believe in Paradise ?
the indulged petted creatures of mere 47.
self-will and appetite, in whom the Seldom does a truly divine poet human as distinguished from the aniarise and teach all the poor toiling men mal is faint and undeveloped. The in the land how far nobler an epic is weakness of mind which trains such the life of every one of them-did he children, and delights in them, is that but know it-than that of the imagina, which led the ladies of another genery Ulysses. The Odyssee is but the ration to keep natural and genuine
apes for their amusement. The Pup- poses, he thus frustrates and dislopets are produced by the plan of dead- cates. ening, petrifying the mind, teaching
56. words by rote, compelling obedience All France, under Louis XIV., was for its own sake, and not for that of a beaten and bribed into courtiership future moral freedom. These are the Poetry, Law, Theology, all were courtthings that move in public only as the suits, and smoothed themselves into wires of masters and committees guide. flatterers and liars. The Muses beBut because the life cannot be alto. came maids of honour, and stage-congether crushed and turned back, it as- fidants to royal mistresses; Religion serts itself secretly in a sense of be- was only permitted to appear masked numbed misery and corroding hatred. in the abhorred disguise of a state The first class spoken of are those in chaplain, or a gold-laced trumpeter of whom a true ideal is misapplied. The sovereign worthlessness; and Truth second, those in whom none is aimed and Conscience, in the mean-whiie, at. The third, those in whom the were fasting at Port-Royal, pining in ideal pursued is altogether false and the Bastile, fighting in the Cevennes, wretched.
or emigrating to Spitalfields. Honesty 53.
could not have where to lay its head, Speech is as a pump by which we when Falsehood, Cruelty, and insane raise and pour out the water from the Vanity had for their lacqueys and pimps great lake of Thought-whither it Racine, Bossuet, and Molière. The Hows back again.
Regent Orleans was but Louis XIV. in 54.
undress and half-intoxicated, and Louis There is a kind of social civilisation XV. the same type, drunk to stupidity. which rounds the rough and broken But while the family was sinking from stones into smooth shapeliness, but generation to generation into utter also into monotonous uniformity; lethargy, the nation was awakening There is also a farther and better kind from its sleep, till rising and finding which again roughens the pebbles, not itself starved, bruised, and shackled, it however, to reproduce their former burst the remaining bonds, and stranrude diversities, but to engrave them gled for ever the corpse-like royalty with divine heads and figures and sig, which it found lying beside it. nificant mottoes.
Life of any kind is a confounding When we see the place to which mystery; nay, that which we comsome natural Reality is degraded by monly do not call life, the principle of the hands of man,—the stately tree to existence in a stone or a drop of wa. be a dead wayside post, the fierce and ter, is an inscrutable wonder. That fleet wild ass of the desert to be a brok. in the infinity of time and space any en and starved drudge—we cannot thing should be, should have a distinct but reflect that this wreck was once existence, should be more than no great and goodly, and possessed a thing! The thought of an immense wondrous inward endowment of inde- abysmal Nothing is awful, only less pendent life and power, was born out so than that of All and God; and of the eternal Infinite into the sad and thus a grain of sand being a fact, a narrow round of Time, where men, reality, rises before us into something its fellow-denizens of Time, have thus prodigious, immeasurable-a fact that crushed and ruined it. But poor as is opposes and counterbalances the imthe place and function of each living mensity of non-existence. And if this thing which men enchain and use, be so, what a thing is the life of man, when thus no longer existing for and which not only is, but knows that it is; by itself, yet the human order of ex- and not only is wondrous, but wonistence, with all its wants and contriv- ders! ances, is is an immeasurably higher
58. one than any of these systems to which The beauty of physical Nature the weaker, meaner beings of earth strikes us with an immediate impres originally belong. In this superiority sion of liarmony and completeness. of Man's destiny and right, lies the There is also a sense of harmony, the justification of his subjecting to his result of reflection engaged on scienown purposes that which, for its pur- tific truth; and there is a livelier and
deeper consciousness of the same kind, the wearing on of the night itself. in which our personal sympathies and when they sink into the socket, lo! it reverential awe of all personality are is not dark, but day. combinedwith the feeling of the beau
65. tiful, excited by whatever is fair, ele. The Caliph Omar, who destroyed vated, and harmonious in human will the Alexandrian library, the second in and character. In the aspect of the succession from Mahomet
, and under highest human beauty: the immediate whom many empires, and Jerusalem impression produced by physical (that itself, were added to Islam, was jouris involuntary) Nature, is inseparably neying on the borders of the Egyptian united with this last or sympathetic desert
, and heard of the fame of a holy emotion; and the mere beauty of form and wise hermit, who lived retired and colour is regarded as symbolic of in a cave of the rocks amid the sandy the inward and supersensuous loveli. waste. Him he regolved to visit,
On the other hand, in the vis. hoping to learn from him where was ions of outward things, the evening concealed the buried treasure of the a nightly sky, the meditative melan- old idolatrous Kings of Egypt. When choly of a silent autumnal landscape, the Caliph, attended by several tal] the blue sea rolling its foam into a and dark Arabs, and by Amrou, the rocky bay, the virgin shamefacedness conqueror of Egypt, entered the caof Nature in a forest-nook, we spontane- vern, he found the hermit seated on a ously transfer in feeling and language rude bench at a stone table, which something of a purely human quality supported a written volume. His eyes to that which is properly below the hu- were bent downwards as if in thought man, but unchangeably connected rather than study, and the Arabs were with it, and pierced in all directions and surprised to see a man of low stature, bound together by the roots of our no- with long and silvery hair foating bler life.
round a face not like theirs, tawny 59.
and scorched, but smooth and ruddyWe paint our lives in fresco. The The large and light grey eyes were soft and fusile plaster of the moment raised at their approach with a look hardens under every stroke of the brush of mild abstraction; and Amrou, who into eternal rock.
had conversed with many men of wis60.
dom at Alexandria, was struck by the Pain has its own noble joy when it breadth of his head, the clear polish of kindles a strong consciousness of life, the forehead, the well-cut and rather before stagnant and torpid.
small nose, and the large, lightly
closed mouth, which seemed to quiver The more sides a man has to his with feeling, and to be ready for the unind, the more certain be may be of lively utterance of countless and sage receiving blows on all of them from one proverbs and comparisons. party or other.
“ Sage,” said the Caliph, “I see 62.
that thou wouldst not approve of the Persons immediately and universally act of justice by which I have destroyrecognized as laudable, must be eithered the storehouse of Pagan errors, in the main negative characters, or ca- called the Library, in the city of Iskpable of practising a good deal of false. ander? Thou hast a book before thee, hood and spurious sympathy in their and I see some others in that halfintercourse with others.
open chest, which do not resemble the 63.
Volumes of believers." For a weak man to sympathize with “In my youth, () Caliph! I read weakness is easy, as for a strong man many books in that Library which to sympathise with strength ; but it is thou hast destroyed, and by the study hard for the weak to sympathize with of these, and their clear presence in the strong. Far harder for the strong my mind, I became capable of sustainto sympathize with the weak, to bow ing, and even profiting by this solitude down to weakness, and to say to it, in which I live, without companions * Be thou my better strength.” and with few writings.” 64.
“What profit couldst'thou "derive The candles of man's night are from those infidel volumes? The Ka doubtless burning out, but like
Alfred's ran teaches the one God, and to know candle-clocks, their decay measures him is to know all.”
“ The Koran indeed teaches truly to draw it from the flesh. Her tears that there is one God; and because fall upon his cheek, and his hand is we know that he exists, we should be red with her blood." careful to understand him as display “ Look again, and tell me what ed in all his works. Of these the no- thou seest." blest is man, and of his mind we have “I see a mountain covered with so many several pictures in every book, trees, fields and villages, and, by Alhowever mistaken its doctrines; and lah! with Pagan temples. But lo! in books can we also learn more clear- an earthquake lieaves the whole, and ly and fully to understand what other half the houses are overthrown or works of God inferior to man, but still swallowed up. The survivors arm most wonderful, reveal his will and themselves for battle, and a fierce conpower.”
flict rages for the enjoyment of those “ Ah! shameless unbeliever ?" ex- of their possessions which remain.claimed Omar, and stroked his beard, Fire spreads through the ruined vine" now would I order thee to be slain yards, woods and houses ; and by its upon the spot, but that I have need of light many men are slain, and women thy wisdom for the good of the faith- and children made captives. Some of ful and of the true faith. Tell me those combatants, O Dervish, are sons where are concealed the riches of the of the giants, and the maidens whom Pharaohs, and I will spare thy life.” I look upon are lovely as the damsels
“I know not that I can teach thee of Paradise." this, but what I can show thee, thou “ Look now again. What seest shalt know.” Then turning to Amrou, thou ?". the fierce and conquering general of “ A lonely waste. The grey
desert the Moslem armies—"Fetch me, I spreads far and wide, save where a pray thee, a handful of sand from the dark sea beats heavily on its coast.desert, at the mouth of the cave.” The Not a ship, not a camel, not a house warrior started, and his eyes turned is there. But among heaps of carved disdainfully on the hermit. But they stones and fallen pillars, such as might sunk under his quiet gaze, and Amrou build a royal city, a white-haired, wiwent and brought the sand. The her- thered man sits with his eyes upon the mit received it into his palm, and turn- ground. A vulture is perched upon ing to the Caliph, desired him to pick a mound near, and looks at him; and out a single grain, and lay it on the a jackal eyes him from a shatiered blade of Amrou's dagger. The bright tomb, and gnaws a scull
. The wind weapon which had so often been red of the desert has blown the sand over with blood, was drawn from its sheath, his feet, and almost to his knees, but he and the Caliph held it in his hand. cares not to rise and free himselfThen following the hermit alone into Dervish! God must have fallen asleep the dark interior of the cave, he plac- in heaven above that place, and left it ed upon the blade, held horizontally, to die utterly." a single grain of sand. On this, he " What dost thou now behold ?" fixed his eyes.
In the deep gloom, “I see around a broad bay of the the grain brightened like a spark of ocean, a range of green) hills ' with fire, and grew larger and larger, even streams and torrents, and gardens as the brightest planet of evening, and reaching to the skies. Amid these it paused not in its expansion, till it are palaces, with pillars built doubtless seemed a luminous ball of mild pale by the genii
, and along the wide ter. fire.
races in front of the buildings, “ Look steadily,” said the hermit; wisdom, and daughters of beauty are “ fear not; and tell me what thou walking or leaning. One is a story.
teller, who had gathered round him a “ I see,” said the Caliph, “a small crowd of listeners, young and old.“ goat-skin tent, under the shade of rocks, Another seems to have just shaped a among palm-tress and wild vines. A figure of a woman out of stone. She man, naked save his girdle, sleeps in is more than half naked, but looks as the cool, with his head upon a dark if none dare think her so. and sad looking woman's lap, and two torch which she holds up in her hand, a children are not far off. A thorn has flame of green fire burns like a bright pierced the foot of the infant girl, and star in the sunshine round her. A the boy, her brother, is endeavouring band of children are wreathing flowers